Very beautiful genre scene taking place during the Venice Carnival of 1878, as indicated in Latin, bottom left.
There is a overpaint on the signature, duplicated, but it is undoubtedly that of the painter G.Guffens (1823-1901), member of the Royal Academy of Belgium, of the Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp, a correspondent of the Institut de France.
The man, dressed in Renaissance style, holds in his left hand a tender note which was probably intended for him by the elegant young woman dressed in the style of the 18th century. The two characters are surprised in an attitude which leaves no doubt to the woman who surprises them, on the right, also dressed in the fashion of the 16th century, and who does not seem to appreciate the scene....
cf. works related to the themes and the palette of the painter: "the handing over of the privileges of Count Arnold IV", and "Lucrezia Borgia" from 1847.
Original canvas and its frame.